So – we are a week into the New Year and if your anything like me, you have given some thought, if not written down a list of New Years Resolutions – things you want to commit to for 2014.
Some of us may have picked the traditional “personal” ones…lose weight, get fit, tick something off your bucket list and I have a couple of those in my sights, however, it is fair to say that they are not really resolutions for me – probably more revisits of past promises or, re-alignments of my goals driven by some level of guilt or failure! Know the feeling?
I did however, want to share a resolution I made LAST year, that I did stick to pretty well and it was as much as an experiment as it was a resolution. It yielded some pretty interesting results for me and also some BIG learns that I have been able to continue applying – although they to have become “revisits and re-alignments” at times! No-ones perfect!
Working as we do coaching people and businesses in areas such as influence, client experience and people management, I spend a lot of time like a voyeur “watching” the way people and businesses interact. With each other, with managers, with clients. It is fair to say, that I also got a little jaded with what I saw, biting my tongue and accepting poor service, poor management – particularly if I was paying for a product or service.
So – my resolution in my complete life (personal and work) was this – if someone needs to be told – I will tell them. Of course – my initial focus was on the negatives, bad service, annoying behaviours of those around me etc etc. The old – life’s too short to put up with this!
To be fair – I let those around me know that I was going to do this and my business partner pointed out that I was only doing half the job. Why not do it properly. What was missed, was that I also need to “tell” those who were doing well, making my life easy, making a positive impact or impression.
So here’s what I learnt:
- I found myself having to continually remind myself to let people know they were doing a great job! I was focusing on everything that annoyed me, rather than things I actually enjoyed or liked.
- Often, a complaint is met with a counter offer – free something, discount off bill etc etc. What I was surprised to learn – is taking the time to pass on positive feedback is so rare – it ALSO gets rewarded. This was quite un-expected. A recent unprompted feedback email I sent saw my whole family dining free – just because no one had ever taken the time to do so! I hasten to add that this was not the reason for the “resolution” – just a very nice by-product!
- If delivered well – people actually appreciate the feedback – good or bad. When annoyed about something or someone, it took a fair bit of work however to deliver it appropriately. You need to THINK before you speak (this is on my revisit and realignment list!)
- Not everything needs to be said. When I took the resolution to the letter, there where often comments I made that were really a waste of energy and did more harm than good. I guess this fits into the old adage of “picking your battles” or “worrying about that things that matter”. You also need to shut up and listen as much as you offer an opinion… again.. add to the revisit or re-adjustment list!
- All of us have our “things”… issues, nuances, concerns, fears, loves, likes etc. Letting people know how you feel – good and bad (with no 4 in mind), is also way of getting rid of your “things”…
Overall – a very rewarding and interesting “resolution”. Be interested if anyone has done similar and what they learnt!!
Cameron Read – Director: Front and Centre Training Solutions Pty Ltd.